Q+A - my lifestyle, my career and how I manage to survive in this crazy world.
Where are you from?
A — I’m from the province of Quebec, Canada. I grew up in the Montreal suburbs and I moved to the city a few years ago, which is where I truly belong.
What is your mother tongue and how many languages do you speak?
A — My mother tongue is French, but I also speak English (still struggling sometimes though, haha!)
How did you first started as a freelancer?
A — Honestly, it just happened. I was in my first year of my bachelor degree when I received my first offer to work with a startup. I quickly accepted to gain more experience in the work market, but it soon began to take all my time. I dropped my classes and began to work full-time as a freelancer. It asks a lot of time, motivation and commitment, but I’ve never regretted my decision. I’m simply not made for the classic 9 to 5 gig!
How would you describe your job? Do you practice graphic design and content creation at the same time?
A — Regarding graphic design, here’s a good definition from truity.com: “A graphic designer creates visual concepts, by hand or using a computer software, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers. She/he develops the overall layout and production design for advertisements, posters, brochures, magazines, cd covers, book covers, corporate reports, etc.” As for content creation, it’s similar to graphic design, but I’d say we’re playing with different creative mediums. Usually, a content creator is providing visual and textual content for any digital media, such as photos/videos, captions, blog posts, etc. Here’s another interesting article to read if you want to learn more about it. Both are commissioned and contribute towards achieving the same objectives. I do practice them at the same time: I think that’s the only way that I can truly stay inspired and stimulated. Otherwise, I get easily bored - I like change! Also, I think my background in graphic design helps me a lot with my content creation - and vice versa.
Is financial instability scaring you on a daily basis?
A — Oh yes, it’s a huge struggle for me. But whenever I feel insecure about money, I try to remember that I have my freedom, which is very precious to me. I can meet friends or family when I need them the most, I can create when I really feel inspired and I can work in the best environments (especially the cute coffee shops you can find on my Instagram). I think it’s truly a bliss, and in my opinion, being unhappy or anxious for a 9 to 5 job is far way worse.
Walk us through a typical day in your life :
A — On business days, I wake up around 6-7am, open my computer and start working a little bit from my bed: I answer my emails and do my planning for the upcoming days. After an hour or two, I get up, take a shower, have a breakfast and then continue working at my desk, at a shooting location or from a nearby coffee shop! It also happens that I visit my clients and work to their offices if needed. I usually work approximately 10 hours a day: I create designs for my clients, post photos on my IG and engage on the platform, create content for my clients + myself and finally do some administration. Believe me, it’s a lot. During the weekends, I still work. My boyfriend (bless his soul) and I try as much as possible to shoot the content I need for the upcoming week. We love to go on little adventures, eat at new restaurants, see friends and relax when the timing is right.
How and when did you start making money with Instagram?
A — I’d say a year and a half ago when I started posting my vintages finds and outfits on my platform. I’ve been on Instagram for a while now, posting some of my favourite coffee shops, architecture, home decor and so on, but with time I realized that if you want to monetize your time spent on it, you need to create content that has a promotional potential. My vintage outfits caught brands’ attention and allowed my hobby to be a job at the same time, so that’s when I decided to devote my platform to my passion for fashion. Just like graphic design, content creation consists in creating harmonious compositions to please the eyes and sell products/promote ideas: except that my tools are now my environment, the objects I can find around and my camera.
Who are your biggest fashion inspirations?
A — Oh there’s a lot! Here’s a list of some of my favorite fashion icons: @nycbambi, @brennerjulia, @themoptop, @madelynnfurlong, @jessalizzi, @alicecatherine, @alwaysjudging, @double3xposure, @lisadengler, @taylranne, @jeannedamas, @beatrice.gutu, @juliamateian, @dentellefleurs, @alexachung, @jacquemus and I could go on…
What type of camera do you use to shoot your content with?
A — When I first started, I simply used my iPhone 7 Plus, but I recently stepped up my game and bought myself a Fujifilm X100F, which is probably the best purchase I’ve ever made. It’s lightweight and ideal for content creation. I didn’t want to carry a huge camera with me everywhere, so this one combines business with pleasure. If you want to read a little bit more about it, click here!
How do you edit your pictures?
A — Probably the most asked question. I created my own preset based on the VSCO’s A6 filter that I’ll be adapting to Lightroom and sell soon on my blog. However, there’s no “magic formula” to edit pictures. To keep my feed harmonious, I need to edit every single picture differently, depending on the brightness, the shadows, the tones… and then check if what I did fits with my personal branding. If not, I continue my editing process on Snapseed or Photoshop to adjust the problematic tones and fix the exposure. Speaking about the devil, Photoshop is my true savior. Sometimes, I simply can’t reshoot something because of time limitations, so the possibility of removing, adding and changing some aspects to my pictures is very helpful.
How do you keep a harmonious feed?
A — I use an app named UNUM to plan my feed in advance and see what fits best. I usually try to alternate between dark/crowded and bright/minimalistic pictures, thus creating a checkered look. I also embrace my love for beige and pastel tones, so I always keep that in mind when directing a shoot: that way, my photos always stay “on brand”.
What apps do you use to create your IG stories?
A — I mostly use Unfold, where I can create amazing collages, vintage frames and flowing slides. I also use Photoshop when needed, 8mm for vintage-look videos, Record it! for screen recording and HUJI for some analog camera effects.
What tips do you have/keep in mind when you are setting up a composition for a photograph?
A — I have a thing for centered and symmetrical compositions, so I usually try to balance the picture this way. I also adjust the walls or buildings vanishing points to always obtain a proper 90-degree angle. To do so, I use Photoshop or SKRWT.
What is your daily go-to uniform?
A — It really depends on my schedule. If I stay home, I only wear comfy clothes or a pj, but if I have to go out - and not think too much about what to wear - I usually opt for a plain white t-shirt with black high-waisted jeans. I could wear this outfit forever without getting tired of it.
Words to live by :
A — Be kind. It is so much easier to be well-intentioned, honest, tolerant and open-minded. I sincerely think the best way to contribute positively to the humankind - and the planet - starts with trying to do our best and to love ourselves first.
How do you stay motivated and keep finding sources of inspiration?
A — Well you tell me, haha! I still haven’t found the perfect solution for my frequent lack of inspiration, but for the moment, I try to find an influence on Instagram, fashion/lifestyle blogs, Pinterest, Behance, and magazines. Planning my future posts and subjects is also a good way to put things in order and see more clearly when crisis strike. It’s all about organization!
You recently spoke up about your anxiety problem on Instagram: what’s your best advice to tame the beast and learn to live better with this issue?
A — The most important thing to know about anxiety: it’s not a choice, or pessimism, or depression. It’s a chronic mental disorder. You’re simply born with it and you need to learn how to live with it. One thing I’d recommend is to see a psychologist on a weekly basis. In my case, it’s been one of the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. It helped me to feel less guilty about my symptoms and my behavior, but also to be familiar with my own mind and body. There’s no shame with having a mental disorder: the mind is - and will always be - a part of the body. If my mind feels sick, so is my physical envelope. There’s no separation between these two, it’s a whole. Based on what I learn about myself during my therapy sessions, I think that my entire healing process consists of self-acceptance. However, it really depends on the person concerned and his/her background.
Do you happen to feel pressured by social media?
A — Of course! Probably more than everybody else, since I have a social and personal responsibilities towards my platform. I obviously need to stay in control of my image, especially the brands and ideas I’m associating myself with. They need to be aligned with my personal values: after all, they’re the reason why people are following me. Also, my career on social media partly relies on others. “Will people love my content? Is this picture on brand? Shouldn’t I try something new? How can I stay relevant to my followers?” These questions always stay on the top of my head, since my audience is one of the things that allow me to do what I love the most. We like to fool ourselves and think we’re creating for our sole purpose - which is true, partly, but what’s the point of exhibiting our art in the first place if there’s no one to see it?
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A — I can’t picture myself that far in the future, since part of my therapy is to live in the moment, but I plan to keep doing what I love the most. I hope I’ll be financially secure enough to travel, have a dog, maybe a kid and a welcoming home filled with great memories with my loved ones. I simply cherish moments way more than belongings.